VED & kit FAQs

IPayRoadTax.com Zero BED

Shouldn’t it be iPayVED.com?
Yes. But too few people know what VED is. Everybody knows what road tax is. Or they think they do. ‘Road’ tax really ought to be known as ‘car’ tax or, more accurately, ‘vehicle’ tax (er, except that a bicycle is a vehicle in law…and bikes don’t pay VED).

As a bicycle is a low emissions vehicle it should be in Band A. These cars pay nothing for their VED. But what’s BED?
Yes, if cyclists had to pay VED, their bicycles would not attract a fee, just as pre-1973 cars get their tax discs for free, as do low CO2 cars, such as the Toyota Pious. BED is Bicycle Excise Duty. Just like road tax, it doesn’t exist.

Why aren’t bicycles taxed?
Unlike cars, bicycles cause little damage to the road surface. Some cyclists ride on the pavement, illegally, but when doing so they cause no damage. Cars routinely park on pavements, blocking the way for pedestrians and damaging flag-stones. In fact, pavement parking is so endemic, few motorists give it a seconds thought. Not only do their cars have superior rights on roads, it seems, they want unfettered access to pavements, too.

Setting up a cyclist registration and taxation scheme would cost more than it raised, and for what? As bicycles have no tailpipe emissions (ahem, cyclists on the other hand..) and therefore don’t pollute, they would attract a duty of £0. Do motorists really want to pay extra VED to pay for the costs of printing and distributing free tax discs for bikes?

How do other European countries pay for roads?
Most European countries operate VED-style schemes.

German automotive expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer complains that such schemes don’t take actual road usage into account.

“You pay the same in taxes for a car that drives 100 kilometres per year as you do for the same car that drives 100,000 kilometres,” points out Dudenhoeffer.

Such unfairness is set to come to an end in the Netherlands, a ‘polluter-pays’ system is to be introduced. Motorists will pay according to distance driven. The reasoning is that it’s only fair that heavy users of the road (in both senses of the word) pay more than those who often leave the car at home. Congestion and the environment are both taken into consideration in the forthcoming scheme. Driving a 4×4 on a city road in rush hour will attract more of a charge than driving a 2CV out in the sticks. The system starts in 2011 for freight transport and will be expanded to include cars in 2012.

Drivers will be charged an average 3 Euro cents per kilometere. The tax will increase every year until 2018, when it will cost an average 6.7 cents per kilometere to drive in Holland. The rate can be adjusted if it fails to change driving habits in the country.

The Dutch Government believes its new tax would benefit 6 out of 10 drivers, with those driving the most and at peak hours bearing the greatest burden. Politicians are expecting the number of cars on the roads to decrease by 15 percent, as more people would switch to public transport and bicycles.

Will there be women-specific jerseys?
Yes. Mighty fine nice ones.

When will the jerseys and arm-warmers be available?
Third week of February. Pre-order from the iPayRoadTax shop.

Can I sign-up for email updates?
Sure you can. Simply pop your email addy into the form below and you’ll get sent info on the iPayRoadTax products as they become available.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t pay ‘road tax’. This tax was abolished in 1937. You pay ‘car tax’, a tax on the vehicle not use of the roads.rnrnVehicle Excise Duty is now used as a tax on emissions as more polluting vehicles pay more VED than low- CO2 spewing vehicles. Cars which emit the lowest amounts of CO2 pay zero VED ie zero ‘car tax’.rnrnNo UK driver pays for damage caused to roads or for building new roads: this is all paid for out of general and local taxation.

  • Anonymous

    I am rather confused about VED, if it is not for using he roads then what is it for? Your article seems to imply that it is for damage to the infrastructure and environment however surely pre 1973 cars cause more damage if not due to inefficient fuel requirements then due to weight.nnI was unable to get a definitive answer from the DVLA either so I am not singling this website out, however I would appreciate knowing what I pay my ‘road tax’ for.

  • Jn_public

    I am rather confused about VED, if it is not for using he roads then what is it for? Your article seems to imply that it is for damage to the infrastructure and environment however surely pre 1973 cars cause more damage if not due to inefficient fuel requirements then due to weight.nnI was unable to get a definitive answer from the DVLA either so I am not singling this website out, however I would appreciate knowing what I pay my ‘road tax’ for.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    You don’t pay ‘road tax’. This tax was abolished in 1937. You pay ‘car tax’, a tax on the vehicle not use of the roads.rnrnVehicle Excise Duty is now used as a tax on emissions as more polluting vehicles pay more VED than low- CO2 spewing vehicles. Cars which emit the lowest amounts of CO2 pay zero VED ie zero ‘car tax’.rnrnNo UK driver pays for damage caused to roads or for building new roads: this is all paid for out of general and local taxation.

  • Joe

    Your own FAQ hits the nail on the head: “u2018Roadu2019 tax really ought to be known as u2018caru2019 tax or, more accurately, u2018vehicleu2019 tax (er, except that a bicycle is a vehicle in lawu2026and bikes donu2019t pay VED)”. This is actually what frustrated car drivers are driving to articulate when they shout at you about “road tax”. Roads are infrastructure, infrastructure paid for by taxation, a decent chunk (abround 10%)u00a0of which comes from car-related sources like VED and fuel purchasing. Cyclists are seen as free-loading as they do not (directly – think of someone who only owns/use a bike) contribute to these underlying contributions. Obviously a ‘fuel’ tax is unreasonable for a cyclist, but why not introduce an annualu00a0charge and use it to fund an insurance scheme for when you crash into pedestrians?u00a03rd party insurance foru00a0other vehicles is mandatory, so why notu00a0cyclists?u00a0I also think a ‘license plate’ scheme would be a good idea, giving some culpbaility to your activities and allowing a channel through which ‘wronged’ members of the public could report you for traffic infringements. Lastly, while you may not contribute to the wear and tear of infrastructure, you still benefit from e.g. traffic light, road signs, road lighting etc and therefore should contribute to their cost. 2 members of public one owns a car one a bike, ALL else being equal (same jobs, same pay, same tax code) the car owner will pay more tax (whether hypothecated like in the US or not like here which seems to be the big point you are trying to make) for using the road than the cyclist. You can cut it however you like, but that is a fact – correct? And tax hypothecation does exist – US fuel duty, TV license to give 2 examples.u00a0Neat site but a little ranty and don’t like the undercurrent of thinking helmets aren’t a good idea. Apologies for spelling mistakes in advance.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Cyclists *do* contribute to the costs. That’s the whole point of the site. All tax payers pay for roads.nnLicensing pros and cons discussed here: http://ipayroadtax.com/licensed-to-cycle/licensed-to-cycle/nnTV licence hypothecation is also discussed on the site, but it’s a rarity.nnAnd many cyclists *are* insured. I am. I get mine from British Cycling by being a member. CTC members ditto.nnRanty is my middle name.nnI think helmets are good. I wear one. Personally, I don’t think anybody should be forced to wear one.

  • Joe

    that’s my point – we all pay tax and all else being equal a car owner pays more tax (through VED and fuel duty) to use the road than a non-car owner – right? If two people each contribute u00a320k annually to the tax pot, through all their taxes, duties, NI, VAT etc.. the one who owns the car then pays a few k more on top of the u00a320ku00a0(through fuel duty and VED) than the one who doesn’t own a car. Its paying extra to use a vehicle on the road (which is exactly what it is, because you either pay VED for a license to use it ON the road, or have to sign a SORN notice which confirms it is OFF theu00a0road)u00a0in all but name. And for clean cars that don’t pay any VED they still pay extra through fuel duty. In fact fuel duty (which is explicitly hypothecated in other countries) is essentially hypothecated in all but name here too – you pay duty on fuel, but fuel that is used for non-road use i.e. agriculture.. has a different rate of duty (or zero?). If it looks like au00a0road tax, and smells like a road tax…Re: helmets – can I assume that you don’t think seatbelt wearing should be mandatory too then?nu00a0nRe: insurance – I commend your personal choiceu00a0but really this should be compulsory especially given how dangerous a bicycle moving at speed can be. And the cost of such a policy would surely be minimal, if the mandatory element were “3rd parties” only?

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Many house polices have 3rd party insurance as standard. Many folks are insured when they cycle, and don’t know it. nCyclists don’t contribute to road funding directly, and nor do motorists. Plus: majority of cyclists are own cars so pay VED, unless they own Band A cars, of course, in which case they’ll pay zero VED. nRe seatbelts. Read ‘Risk’ by Adams or Google risk homeostasis. This theory is much disputed, of course, but what’s pertinent is that car drivers may be safer with seat belts/air bags etc etc but drivers then compensate for these safety features by driving faster and taking greater risks, and this risky behaviour harms not drivers but cyclists and pedestrians, who don’t have airbags etc.

  • Joe

    it’s an interesting read which sits firmly next to Freakonomics and The Experts Speak on the shelf, but in the specific example of seat belts I am not overly convinced. The invention preceded the law by a couple of decades being oneu00a0observation. I can see no sensible reason for making the wearing of seatbelts, safety helmets or in fact clothes in public only a ‘voluntary’u00a0choice but what the safety helmet issue (to bring us back on track) does is play into the hands of those who think cyclists are arrogant “road hoggers”. Next you’ll be advocating only voluntary obedience of red lights (please don’t write a book about it) or the abolition of street signs/kerbs (again, books available).nu00a0nI still maintain my example – >>all else being equal<< a car owner pays more than a non car owner to drive on the road, ergo that extra pay is equivalent to a road tax in all but name. Crowing about how it's technically VED and non-hypothecated (as fun as that is especially amongst the plebs) is essentially semantics, no?

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    The argument that a car owner pays more goes nowhere: cyclists own plenty of cars. In fact, cyclists tend to own more cars and, on average, are richer than motorists who aren’t also cyclists. Should somebody who pays more tax get more benefits from that tax paid? For example, should a well-renumerated banker go to the front of an NHS waiting list. Said banker would have paid more tax than, say, a welfare claimant. nSemantics? Tell that to the cyclists who have been shouted at and physically abused by ignorant “road owning” motorists.

  • Joe

    if we agree that ownership = paying more tax (all else equal)u00a0= a road tax in all but name, then the more cars you own the more “tax” you pay….therefore, owning a bike should attract an extra charge too, regardless if it is negligible, no?

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Ownership has nothing to do with tax.nnVED is a tax on vehicles, not roads. Clue is in the name.nnAnyway, VED is not a tax, it’s a duty. The two are very, very different. nHouse of Commons library briefing document on VED states:nn”Motoring taxation is made up of two elements, vehicle excise duty (VED), which can be considered a tax on ownership, and fuel duty… Motor vehicle taxes are not now assigned or hypothecated in any way, so that expenditure on roads is not related to their yield.” nA registration fee for bicycles would cost a lot more than it would bring in so would be an expensive folly. nDetails: http://ipayroadtax.com/licensed-to-cycle/licensed-to-cycle/

  • Joe

    please.. I understand your point about VED being VED and not a road tax.. I am merely pointing out that, which ever way you cut it, it IS effectively a road tax in all but name. Because if you take a person who owns a car, and a person who doesn’t, and say everything else is equal in terms of contribution to the countries coffers… then the car owner DOES pay more tax purely because they own and USE a car. So, in all but name, that extra tax is a road tax – an extra payment to use the road. A tax. On using the road. A… road tax.nnAnother way to look at it.. from your site “Road tax doesn’t exist. It’s car tax, a tax on cars and other VEHICLES, not a tax on roads or a fee to use them.”from dictionary.com “veu00b7hiu00b7cle, noun 1. any means in or by which someone travels or something is carried or conveyed; a means of conveyance or transport 2. a conveyance moving on wheels, runners, tracks, or the like, as a cart, sled, automobile, or tractor”so a bike is a vehicle ergo should pay vehicle tax. And.. before you point out how VED is linked to emissions.. can you remember when that link started? Hint – not 1936!

  • Joe

    naughty! the full quote had 5 extra (important) words//// “Motoring taxation is made up of two elements, vehicle excise duty (VED), which can be considered a tax on ownership, and fuel duty, which is a tax on use.”nnna tax on use? where do you use a car? on a road. A tax.. on use.. use.. on a road.. a tax… on.. use.. on.. a .. road…. a, road tax? ;-)

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    The words culled were from fuel duty, not road tax. Fuel duty is a whole different kettle of coconuts. nHere’s a conundrum for you: if you live in Spain but have a UK registered car you still have to buy UK VED to be able to drive in Spain. Your UK-registered car may never actually drive in the UK the whole year round but you still have to pay VED. nErgo VED is not a fee to use a UK road; it’s very much a duty (it’s not even a tax).

  • Joe

    SORN the UK registered car? and if not, it is hardly the crux of a discussion….

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    No, you can’t SORN the car. Spanish police would impound and crush the car. Ditto for other EU countries. nIt’s very much the crux: VED is not a fee to use UK roads, it’s an emissions duty.

  • Joe

    an obscure example of owning a car in Spain is not the crux of the matter. The crux is that, as a car owner, extra payments are made to the government in return for legal use of road infrastructure. Agreed? That this extra payment(s) is not explicitly called a road tax, or in fact officially hypothecated for road construction/maintenance, is essentially your point to which I say “semantics”. Person A, person B. A owns a car, B doesn’t. A and B both pay u00a320k in total in income tax, NI, VAT etc etc to the government. A will then have to pay a few extra k to 1. fuel his car and 2. use his car on a public road (ignoring zero VED cars although I suspect given the nature of your argument you wont allow us to ignore this). So… A, pays extra and in return is allowed to use his car on the road. Therefore this is a payment (tax) to use the road. This is a road tax, in all but name. The crux of your point/site is that because it isn’t NAMED as road tax (it’s VED, a fairly recent concept foru00a0charging polluting cars more) that it isn’t equivalent to being charged to use your caru00a0on the road (a road tax). So again,u00a0it’su00a0semantics.

  • Joe

    and to the Spanish example, the answer is to officially import and register the vehicle there (kind of like a reverse Q plate) http://www.spainexpat.com/spain/information/importing_cars_bringing_your_car_to_spain/

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Point me to any UK law which states that. Happy hunting!

  • Joe

    states what?

  • Joe

    “if it looks like a duck.. and quacks like a duck… but the nice man from the government tells you it’s VED and not a tax on using the road……”nn:-)

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Yes, I’m a stickler for facts. Odd, I know.